In a blow to restaurant owners and servers in particular, prosecutors upstate ruled that a diner could not be forced to pay a tip - even if the restaurant says it's mandatory. Long Islandar Humberto Taveras was in Lake George, NY, dining with his family and another couple (total of nine diners), was charged $77.43; the restaurant, Soprano's Italian and American Grill, owned by Joe and Tina Soprano, argued that Taveras should have paid the 18% gratiuty, $13.73 tip for parties larger than 6, which was included in their bill. Taveras claimed he left 10%, but after some argument about the quality of the food and whether the mandatory gratiuty was noted on the menus, Taveras was taken away by the police, when the Sopranos claimed "theft of services." As its pointed out a number of times, Taveras has spent a couple hundred dollars fighting this charge, to heard the words he wanted from the Warren Country prosecutor said, "A tip or gratuity is discretionary, and that's what the courts have found."
Gothamist finds tipping a very interesting issue. As New Yorkers, we're familiar with many people supporting their other careers by waiting tables, as well as immigrants who rely on tips to send money back to their families. We happen to tip closer to 20% when we can, but sometimes we admit to rounding down when the service is crummy. We'd like to know how much do you tip? Are you tipping off the pre-tax meal price? Do you skimp on tips when the service and food is really bad? And Ask Gothamist on tipping on food delivery.